Priced right; PhysX support; Far Cry 2 bundle; three year warranty
Performance trails the competition; no DX11 support
The 260 GTX chip pushed to its limit
It’s easy to be seduced by the latest and greatest graphics cards, but you can sometimes find excellent deals in older-generation cards that can still keep up with today’s shader-heavy PC games. Gigabyte’s 260 GTX SuperOC is a good example.
To make the cards, Gigabyte starts with cherry-picked 260 GTX chips from the factory. Then it clocks the GPUs at 680MHz, more than 100MHz faster than the standard 576MHz. Similarly, the SuperOC pushes the shader clock to 1,466MHz, instead of the stock 1,350MHz. Rounding off the performance push is 896MB of GDDR3 running at 1.25GHz instead of 1GHz. Gigabyte delivers these rarefied clock rates at slightly less than $200.
It’s true that the SuperOC won’t deliver Radeon HD 5850 levels of performance—but it also costs $60–$80 less. You should get good performance from the card if you’re willing to run without antialiasing in current games. Note, however, that pushing the card this hard takes power; our system idle power was 160W (compared to 141–142W for the Radeon HD 5000 series cards), and power at full bore was 316W—the same as the much more powerful Radeon HD 5870.
The Gigabyte 260 SuperOC supports Nvidia’s PhysX hardware physics acceleration in games that can take advantage of it, as well as 3DVision, Nvidia’s take on 3D stereoscopic gaming (a 120Hz display is required). The card is currently bundled with Far Cry 2.
|Gigabyte 260 OC||EVGA 285 GTX SSC |
|3DMark Vantage Performance ||12,819 ||13,941 |
|3DMark Vantage Extreme ||5,709 ||6,276 |
|HAWX (fps) ||56 ||62 |
|Far Cry / Action (fps)||45 ||47 |
|Far Cry 2 / Ranch Long (fps) ||53 ||56 |
|Battle Forge / DX10 (fps)||28 ||46 |
|Crysis / DX10 (fps)||20 ||22 |
|Resident Evil 5 (fps) ||79 ||87 |
|X3: Terran Conflict (fps)||89||93|
|STALKER: Clear Skies (fps)||34||27|
Best scores are bolded. All games were run at 1920x1200 with all detail levels maxed out and 4x AA enabled. Anisotropic filtering was also enabled in game, where available.